Canada’s tumultuous Olympics


The highs and lows of Montreal’s Summer Olympic Games

By Aaron Guillen, Staff Reporter

The Summer Olympics in Montreal started off with a bang, not only because of the opening ceremonies, but also due to the controversy that encircled the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in relation to their stance on certain countries participating this year. In total, 33 countries, predominantly African ones, withdrew from competition, some after arrival in Canada. This was due to the IOC allowing New Zealand to participate even though their rugby team is currently touring South Africa, a nation that has been banned from the Olympics for 13 years for their refusal to rebuke apartheid, according to BBC.

New Zealand’s Olympic Committee rebutted, claiming that 26 other countries had played in South Africa. However, the boycott still took place, resulting in the absence of over 300 athletes.

Additionally, Taiwan withdrew due to the fact that they were not allowed to compete under the name ‚ÄúRepublic of China‚ÄĚ (ROC). PM Pierre Trudeau explained that since the People‚Äôs Republic of China (PRC) had just recently been recognized, the name ‚ÄúRepublic of China‚ÄĚ was not feasible. Although Canada allowed the ROC to use their national flag and anthem during the Olympics, they still refused to participate.

Although times were tough, an athlete named Nadia Comaneci enthralled Olympic spectators with her astounding feats. . . At the age of 14, she will be remembered as the shining star of the 1976 Olympics. Comaneci, a Romanian gymnast, shocked the world when she made history by achieving the first perfect 10.0 for the uneven bars. Following that achievement, Comaneci won two more gold medals, one silver, and one bronze.

Another notable athlete that shined during the games was Bruce Jenner. Jenner, an American runner, participated in the decathlon, which consists of a series of track and field events. He won gold, while also setting a world record of 8,617 points.

At the conclusion of the Games, the Soviet Union held centre stage, with their athletes winning a total of 125 medals‚ÄĒ49 gold, 41 silver, and 35 bronze. East Germany, a considerably smaller country than most others, surprised some by clinching the second highest rank in these Summer Olympics.

Although Canada had the misfortune of failing to win any gold medals, the host athletes were able to earn five silver and six bronze, landing Canada in 27th position overall.